What is “liberation theology” and what part does it play in Rastafarianism and reggae music?
It is a school of thought that explores the relationship between Christian theology and political activism, particularly in areas of social justice, poverty, and human rights. Rastafari theology developed from the ideas of Marcus Garvey, a political activist who wanted to improve the status of fellow blacks. Rastafarians use reggae music to express cultural and religious liberation.
What are the key elements of the Rastafarian religious movement?
Rastafarianism is non-doctrinal; it holds no one church as powerful enough to impose its religion. One person views are valid as long as he or she is possessed of the Spirit of Jah. ‘Unity’ or ‘Inity’ is essential if Rastas are to stand strong against the forces of Babylon. They are awaiting repatriation to Africa and regard themselves as living ‘slavery days’ in bondage.
Who are Marcus Garvey and Emperor Haile Selassie and why are they significant to Rastafarianism and reggae music?
Many Rastas revere Marcus Garvey, a forceful campaigner for black unity, pan-Africanism, and return to Africa. In one of his pamphlets he urged Africans of the New World to look to Africa for a Prince to emerge. This was taken by many to mean the Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie I, who claimed descent from Solomon. Garvey was seen as a prophet and Selassie was seen as the messiah. They contributed to the liberation theology heard in reggae music.
What is the name for the tradition of Rastafarian drumming and chanting?
What is mento music and what are its primary cultural sources?
Mento music was derived from Afro-European rural dance and draws from several of Jamaica’s folk styles. It superficially resembles calypso. The music contains the shuffling strum, moroccos, guitars, and banjos. It was a rural dance club music.
What is the name of the band that claims to be the originator of ska?
In general terms, how did ska musicians transform the American R shuffle
rhythm? What are the dominant rhythmic characteristics of ska?
Ska musicians used fast R as their music’s basis, they cut out half the shuffle, leaving an abrupt series of off-beats. Ska features a displacement of the shuffle rhythm onto upbeats. Beats 2 and 4 are also given added weight through the placement of the bass drum. Direct relation to mento. No singing. Improvised horn solos
Who was Desmond Dekker and why was he important to the development of
Jamaican popular music?
He was a Jamaican Ska, rocksteady and reggae singer-songwriter musician. His disc, 007, was the most enduring rudeboy album and first brought word about the rudie phenomenon to the wider world.
What are the defining elements of Jamaican “rudeboy” culture? With what
genre of Jamaican popular music is it most closely associated?
Rudeboys were young men who gave voice to their disaffection. Over the rock-steady beat, rudeboys sang of their problems, their fears, and their ‘rude’ attitude. They were known for flashy clothes and a bad-boy persona.
Why is the Jimmy Cliff film The Harder They Come culturally significant?
The film was a sensation in Jamaica due to its naturalistic portrayal of black Jamaicans in real locations and its use of local patios. According to Henzell, “Black people seeing themselves on the screen for the first time created an unbelievable audience reaction.” The soundtrack was also said to have brought reggae to the world. Jamaica was not shown a vacation destination, but as a place with very little money and ghetto.
What sets roots reggae apart – musically, politically, and spiritually – from
earlier forms of Jamaican popular music?
Roots reggae had a large emphasis on the liberation theology, the struggle of the urban masses, resistance to government, social oppression, and Rastafari ideology in general. Musically, it was mostly drum, guitar, and bass based with a “one drop”, slower rhythm. Incorporates old-time mento shuffle with rock steady.
Who was Bob Marley and what were his contributions to Jamaican popular
He was a social worker for change. He was a Rastafarian and using music as a weapon of change. Recognized his underdog status of the Jamaican people. Asserted that we are powerful and can stand up to oppression. He is the idealization of Reggae music.
Who is Lee “Scratch” Perry and what were his contributions to Jamaican popular music?
He played a critical role in the development of Jamaican music since the late 1950s. Though he is a distinctive vocalist, he is best known as an innovative producer. He showed a genius for the use of the bizarre sound effects. Perry was one of the pioneers in the development of dub music with his early adoption of effects and remixing to create new instrumental or vocal versions of existing reggae tracks.
Who was King Tubby and what were his contributions to Jamaican popular
Stripped vocal discs in their instrumental basics. Transferred traditional reggae into dub with new music technology.
What is a Jamaican “sound system”? What was the role of the Jamaican deejay (e.g., King Stitt and U-Roy)?
Mobile dance club to spread reggae that wasn’t being played on the radio.
Why were the “B-sides” of reggae records important to the development of
Dub is the remixed version of a record, with the vocal either entirely or partly removed and usually with the foregrounding of bass and drums”
The starting point for a dub record was the instrumental flip side of a record, which sound systems would play for deejays.
What musical technologies and techniques were used to transform reggae
music into dub?
Techniques include dynamically adding extensive echo, reverb, panoramic delay, and occasional dubbing of vocal or instrumental snippets from the original version or other works. This is done through a mixing board.
What is the difference between dub music and dub poetry? Who are the key figures of dub poetry? What topics do dub poets speak about?
Dub music consists predominantly of instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by manipulating the recordings, usually by removing the vocals from an existing music piece, and emphasizing the drum and bass parts.
Dub poetry is a form of performance poetry. Unlike dee jaying, the dub poet’s performance is normally prepared, rather than the chat of the dancehall dee jay. In musical setting, the dub poet usually appears on stage with a band performing music specifically written to accompany each poem, rather than simply perform over the top of dub plates, or riddims, in the dancehall fashion. Dub poetry is overtly political and social.
Linton Quesi Johnson
What role have British Jamaicans played in the global diffusion of reggae?
In the beginning Jamaicans met much anti-immigration when arriving in UK. Sound systems emerged bringing reggae to the dancehalls. Went on to influence punk
Why is the band Steel Pulse significant?
A prominent British reggae band that emerged in the 1970s.
What is dancehall/ragga and how does it differ from earlier styles of reggae?
Faster and more energetic to encourage dancing. More sparse version of roots reggae.
How did Jamaican sound systems and the practice of deejaying and “toasting”
contribute to the birth of hip-hop in New York City?
Practice that people and of brining sound systems and rapped over the instrumental B side. Spontaneous and improvised